Former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Dr Gideon Gono has been appointed board chairman of the Special Economic Zones. Announcing the board yesterday, Minister of Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Dr Obert Mpofu said appointment of the board would unlock operations in SEZs.
“As a matter of urgency you (the new board) are expected in line with the provisions of the Act, to ensure that the SEZs authority is properly and duly constituted and established
“You are also responsible for supervising the expeditious approval of SEZ license applications and granting of all relevant permits,” he said
Other board members include; Standile Ngwenya, Retired Brigadier General Godfrey Chanakira (Principal Director in the Office of the President and Cabinet), Ozias Machaya Hove (Senior Principal Director in the Office of the President and Cabinet), Erasmus Gapara, Constance Zhanje, Edwin Zvandasara (representing the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development), Christopher Dube, Busisa Moyo (former CZI president), Retired Brigadier General Thando Madzvamuse and Mary Mubaiwa-Chiwenga. Dr Mpofu also highlighted that the board is responsible for setting up One Stop Investment Centers in each SEZ to ensure the speedy approval of all applications.
Commenting on the appointment Dr Gono said: “Requirements are on us to advance an export-gathering strategy while at the same time supporting import substitution initiatives that reduce our import bill without compromising quality, price and timely availability of products and services.
“Also it is required for us to attract foreign direct investment, facilitate re-industrialisation, job creation, innovation and technological advancements.
“The challenge is upon us as Zimbabwe to go all out and promote investment into SEZs and therefore Zimbabweans in the diaspora should seize this opportunity to get involved in serious productive activities back home.”